Remember Ben Stein? The teacher from Ferris Bueller who went on to do Clear Eyes commercials and host a Comedy Central game show where a young Jimmy Kimmel was his sidekick? Well, he’s back. The former speechwriter for Richard Nixon (which will answer a lot of questions moving forward) recently posted a video where he ranted about the lack of Aunt Jemima syrup bottles. A pressing topic if there ever was one.
To bring everyone up to speed, the Aunt Jemima bottles were retired by the Quaker Oats Company in light of the George Floyd protests in 2020. The image on the bottle was based on the racist caricature of a “mammy,” a slave who was often tasked with the cooking and tending of her master’s children. The image was removed from the bottle along with the Aunt Jemima name, which was rebranded. Via CNN:
“We are starting a new day with Pearl Milling Company,” a PepsiCo spokesperson said. “A new day rooted in the brand’s historic beginnings and its mission to create moments that matter at the breakfast table.”
Jump to the present day where Ben Stein is not happy. Not happy at all. In the weird video, he complains about no longer having a “large” Black woman on his pancake syrup. He called the decision “racist,” which is the exact opposite of what happened, but again, speechwriter for Nixon.
Actor Ben Stein says he misses the good old days when “a large African-American woman” was on his syrup bottle, but woke corporate culture ruins everything. pic.twitter.com/WkSXUDbRIj
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) February 21, 2023
“Aunt Jemima yummy pancake syrup,” Stein said while holding the rebranded bottle. “Now, this used to show a large African American woman chef. Because of the inherent racism of America’s corporate culture, they decided to make it a white person or maybe no person at all. But I prefer it when it was a Black person showing their incredible skill making pancakes.”
After Stein’s rant somehow went viral, the former Comedy Central got completely roasted in the replies for complaining about pancake syrup and not understanding how racist caricatures work. You can see some of the reactions below:
I’m curious how he’d feel if it was a blatantly racist picture of a Jewish person advertising a savings account.
— Nathan Quarry (@NateRockQuarry) February 21, 2023
“The fake syrup isn’t racist enough”
— Morgan Cameron Ross (@Morgan_C_Ross) February 21, 2023
The high point of his career was when he repetitively droned a surname in a John Hughes flick.
— robert jon anderson (@RobAnderson2018) February 21, 2023
Everyday in the life of an angry Republican complaining about how things aren’t like “the good ol’ days” anymore. pic.twitter.com/yzNe8gzkWa
— 🄰🄽🄳🅈 (@ndyGH17) February 21, 2023
He put on a jacket to say this.
— wheatus (@wheatus) February 21, 2023
Ben Stein is still alive?
— Fred Gerteiny (@FredGerteiny) February 21, 2023
When right wingers referred to their “black friend”, they were talking about a picture on a syrup bottle.
— Dave N. (@Autolykos_84) February 21, 2023
Ah, a Log Cabin syrup republican
— Razzball (@Razzball) February 21, 2023